Bill Text: NY S01712 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Relates to service quality standards for copper telephone systems; requires the public service commission to establish a plan to achieve a state of good repair for all copper telephone systems.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-14 - REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS [S01712 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-S01712-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK


                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                    January 14, 2021

        Introduced  by Sens. GALLIVAN, BAILEY, KENNEDY -- read twice and ordered
          printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Energy
          and Telecommunications

        AN  ACT  to amend the public service law, in relation to service quality
          standards for copper telephone systems

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  Legislative  findings.  The  legislature hereby finds and
     2  declares that copper telephone systems are in a state of  disrepair  due
     3  to  aging equipment and underinvestment by telephone corporations in the
     4  financial and workforce capital needed to ensure the system's high qual-
     5  ity  functioning.  In  2005  the  public  service  commission   severely
     6  curtailed  service  quality penalties, which has led telephone companies
     7  to virtually abandon upkeep of copper telephone systems letting them age
     8  and deteriorate. Copper telephone systems will continue  to  deteriorate
     9  if such issues are not addressed.
    10    Millions  of  New Yorkers rely on the copper telephone system, in many
    11  places with no alternative source of affordable service. Many  customers
    12  are  subject  to  prolonged  service outages, long delays in new service
    13  installation, and frequent instances of  substandard  service.  Further,
    14  many  telephone  companies  lack  the  workforce  necessary  to meet the
    15  system's installation, maintenance and repair needs.
    16    While some communities within the state  are  not  reliant  on  copper
    17  telephone  systems,  many  still  are.  There  are communities that have
    18  access to fiber optic  services  but  significant  portions  of  upstate
    19  including  cities and rural areas and other underserved areas do not. In
    20  many cases the regions which do not have access to fiber optic  services
    21  are  the  same areas suffering from the worst copper service. In most of
    22  these communities, customers face a virtual broadband monopoly  because,
    23  as  the  Staff  Telecommunications  Assessment reported in the summer of
    24  2015, fewer than 1% of broadband customers  choose  satellite  as  their

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 1712                             2

     1  provider  and wireless alternatives are too costly because of data caps.
     2  Thus it is necessary to fix and keep copper telephone  systems  in  good
     3  working  condition  since  many  communities in New York state are still
     4  reliant  on them. It is the responsibility of the public service commis-
     5  sion to ensure that all telephone  corporations  maintain  their  copper
     6  telephone  systems  in a state of good repair so that all regions of New
     7  York state have equal access to quality  functioning  telecommunications
     8  services.
     9    § 2. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 91-b to
    10  read as follows:
    11    § 91-b. Service quality standards for copper telephone systems.  1. In
    12  accordance  with subdivision one of section ninety-one and section nine-
    13  ty-eight of this article, the commission shall require all copper  tele-
    14  phone  systems  to  be maintained in a state of good repair within three
    15  years of the effective date of this section.
    16    2. The commission shall establish a plan to achieve a  state  of  good
    17  repair  for  all  copper telephone systems. Such plan shall include, but
    18  shall not be limited to:
    19    (a) Reinvestment in copper telephone system plants. Such  reinvestment
    20  shall  include replacing, upgrading, maintaining and repairing equipment
    21  and maintaining a sufficient workforce to perform required maintenance;
    22    (b) Maintenance  of  air  pressure  systems.  Such  maintenance  shall
    23  include  updating air pressure equipment such as transducers, manifolds,
    24  and dehydrators and cable repairs.  An adequate workforce shall be main-
    25  tained to perform required maintenance on such air pressure systems;
    26    (c) Creation of proactive maintenance crews to  ensure  all  customers
    27  receive quality service; and
    28    (d)  Collection and assessment of service quality data. The commission
    29  shall then impose service quality penalties for failure to meet  service
    30  quality metrics for all consumers.
    31    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.